Friday, August 7, 2015

What I've Learned in my First Year As a Mom

So my last post was from a month and a half ago. Things have gotten CRAZY. Henry is crawling up the walls (literally!), so my days are filled with parks, walks, parks, books, food, food, food, and SWINGS! I have planned posts in my head, thought about writing them, and then things would inevitably get busier. Lately I've been thinking about how things have changed so drastically (Thank you Time Hop for always reminding me that my baby was the smallest cutest guy ever!). Here are some of the things I've learned, sometimes the hard way, in my first year as a mom.

I can't stand the chubby arms!!!

I have learned to be uncomfortable. This is not a normal thing for me - I hate change, hate when things don't go as planned, and have a hard time coping and changing course. I have had to learn to "go with the flow", as hard as it may be. Babies are the most unpredictable creatures! When things go awry you want to pinpoint the trigger, and honestly it's simply a guessing game. Missed nap? Is he teething? Gas? Overtired? Have a fever? Dirty diaper? Hungry? And the list goes on and on. Thankfully this guy always makes up for it with love, and in recent months, kisses.

No naps? Everything makes me fussy? Sesame Street while holding onto mommy it is.

I have learned that everything will work out. In those moments that I can't handle when things have not gone as planned, I have learned (And eh hmmm am still learning) that the world will not end. It may sound strange, but one horrible nap can spiral the day, affect the night sleep and give me all sorts of anxiety. Yesterday, for example: Henry woke up from his nap over an hour early and was hysterical...while I was on a business call. Thank goodness it was with another mom who completely understood. I finished the call and Henry fussed and played. It was a rare time that I simply accepted that this crazy out of the ordinary thing wasn't going to make or break our day. More and more I'm calming down and letting things play out.

Super cranky boy hated the beach this day, and he finally fell asleep in the carrier. I was so stressed I didn't enjoy the beach until he was snuggled in, and we had a great rest of the day.

I have learned that I still need a ton of sleep...or rather coffee Sleep is like gold. Even if I get 8 hours, I will still be a bit tired. I'm a sleeper. Having a baby who isn't a sleeper has been very difficult for me. I have learned to take naps, go to bed early (ie: I fall asleep on the couch between 7:45-8:30 usually!), and stay up late when it's worth it. It sometimes feels like a confining tunnel where you can never get out because you'll never catch up on your sleep. Then you'll get a great night's sleep and will feel like a new person. And I have become super tight with coffee. We were best friends before, but now I'd call this a truly committed relationship. No prenup required.

I keep reminding myself of this. Surfboard.

I have learned that it's hard to feel like "your old self", because you become a new version of you.  Being a mom changes you; everyone says it and everyone is right. It's almost like you're reborn: you can easily forget about your life that happened before this all encompassing being took over! I feel like Mrs. Miller's Miles circa marathon training never existed, like it was someone else. I look back on posts and I think "That didn't happen, that wasn't did I run a 20 mile run!?" My friends have helped me feel like my old self as my new self. Being with them has truly made me feel like I can be myself and a mom. The new me values time spent away from Henry because it refreshes me to keep running through life with him!

We finally had our first overnight without Henry in Boston and it was amazing. Our friends are the best. Just saying.

Most of all, I've learned to have fun. It  was all schedules, spit up, and sleep deprivation for a while there. Once we got on a schedule we started venturing out, seeing friends and enjoying the city. Every stage has its own joys and challenges, but it keeps getting better and better. Yesterday he kept reaching for me as I was pushing him on the swing so I slowed him down and he leaned forward and gave me a kiss. I get it Henry, you own me.

How about you? What is something you have learned lately? HOW ARE YOU? I've been MIA, who is running NYC, Philly, CHI?! Tell me about it!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Henry: 12 Months

Did I really write that?! Yes, and I'm writing it a bit late. Henry turned 1. I was sick with a cold, threw a party, and then we moved on. I think being sick helped me not lose it emotionally, but I still look at him and think "Where did my little baby go?" Here are some highlights from his twelfth month!

Henry turned one in the concrete jungle!

  • Henry weighs 22lbs! He still has delicious chunks on his arms and legs.
  • Henry is crawling on all fours, no more slithering, and is walking with assistance from our couch, his activity table, a wall, ANYTHING he can use!
  • He eats everything. A week after he turned 11 months it was as though he decided to stop being picky and eat anything in sight! He has eaten every meat, some seafood, most vegetables (Doesn't house those like other things but doesn't ignore them entirely either), and cake. He ate half of his smash cake before we took it away!!! That's my boy.
  • There is zero stranger danger. He'll check someone out when we're out, but he doesn't cry or ignore people. He's always watching and will give anyone a high five!
  • He says Dada. I brainwashed him to make it happen before Fathers Day! I walked around life saying Dada with a picture of Mr. Miller. It worked. Now as for Mama, well, not yet. WAH.
  • He now has six teeth. Thank GOD that sixth tooth came in, we hit a very rough sleep patch!
  • Henry plays by himself multiple times a day. He will sit in his play area, play with his activity table, look through books, whatever he wants! We play with puzzles together, read books, and do hand games/songs.
  • He was the most well behaved baby for his birthday! He had lots of friends to play with, adults to love him, and he didn't cry when we sang happy birthday (Though I could tell he was definitely overwhelmed!)
  • We had a jungle themed birthday party and were so happy to host the friends and parents who helped us during this first year.
  • We visited the New York Aquarium, Coney Island, Connecticut, and every playground within two miles of our apartment! 
Baby boy, you are truly a joy. This child wakes up whining, and the second you look at him he giggles. He is the most easy going, go with the flow, happy go lucky guy in the world. We are so blessed to be his parents. All the pain, anxiety, sleeplessness, stress, frustration and chaos that a child can bring pales in comparison to the love, joy, laughter, tears of love, comfort and sweetness that he brings. 

Happy 12 Months Little Lion Man!
Let them eat cake!

Check out my article on SmartMom How to Raise a Son to be a Really Great Man

Monday, June 22, 2015

Cook Unity Meal Delivery Service Review and Giveaway!

Hello friends! It has been WAY too long, life got busy, a certain fella turned one (EEK!), and I have some great posts coming your way soon! I wanted to highlight a great meal delivery service that I recently got to try out called Cook Unity*. It was the week of Henry's first birthday party, and I came down with a nasty cold! I barely had an energy to open a can soup, let alone cook a healthy dinner! Here is a little bit of info about Cook Unity:

Cookunity delivers small-batch, fresh home-food from local chefs right to your door. We handpick the freshest ingredients to bring you tasty, wholesome meals for your family to enjoy.

Best Ingredients. Quality Meals

Instead of buying long life food that expires years from now, or spending your whole weekend cooking, we shop for the freshest, seasonal ingredients out there to bring you tasty food you feel good feeding your family with.
Whenever possible, we use organic, local, farm-fresh produce, and all our proteins are hormone-free and come from farms our suppliers visit regularly and that we have researched thoroughly. Our fish is sourced from sustainable fisheries.

Handpicked Chefs. Timeless Recipes

Our menus constantly change, because we select produce based on its seasonality and quality. We selected authentic recipes that families have enjoyed for ages and we asked some of the best chefs in town to cook for you with extra care and love.
Enjoy your spare time with your kids and let us do the homemade cooking for you!

Each week their menu is posted for entrees available from Tuesday-Thursday. I went online and ordered our entrees. Best part about it? They had kid's entrees too! Each entree comes with sides and dessert, so there was no adding to these meals. I loved the packaging upon delivery, the cards with the ingredients and nutritional information, and blurbs about the chefs who created these yummy dishes. Here are the yummy dishes we got to enjoy:
 Everything was securely packaged and survived a subway ride in rush hour!

 I loved the personal touch with the chef's bios.

 This was Mr. Miller's meal, it was DELICIOUS! He was a little hungry afterwards, but he had eaten a very small lunch.
 This was my meal! It was really good. The filling had a lemony flavor which I had never tried!

 I would have eaten this as a meal! IT WAS SO GOOD! I tried each part and it was delicious.
Henry approved! He eventually ate his broccoli.

So, here are my final thoughts on Cook Unity:
- I LOVED reading the information on each meal. Other meal delivery services don't list nutritional information, or maybe only list calories and fat. 
- You know exactly what is in your food - natural healthy ingredients!
- The child's meal lasted Henry THREE meals! It was plenty of food.
- Ease of ordering online and QUICK delivery turnaround!
- Everything was delicious!
- It solves the "I don't know what to cook for dinner" dilemma.
- NO DIRTY DISHES. I don't have a dishwasher - cry with me.

- Meals did not leave enough for leftovers. Each meal is definitely one serving. We're leftovers for lunch eaters!
- They only deliver in Manhattan. Thankfully Mr. Miller works there so they delivered it to his building without issue!

Would you like the chance to win TWO free meals from Cook Unity? Enter below! The winner will be announced June 29. (Winner must be located or available for delivery in Manhattan) Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway *Disclosure: I was given three free meals from Cook Unity in exchange for my review. The opinions and details written are my own.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Life Lately: A Fitness/Injury Update

What a month we've had in NYC! One day it's 85, next day it's 65! Just when you think you hate the climate here, an amazing day reals you back in with its awesomeness. I feel like that's a great analogy for my current fitness status. Some days are hot and awesome, and some days are cold and lack luster! So, what's been going on lately?

Sunday at Coney Island the NY Aquarium. GORGEOUS day!

Injury update! I briefly wrote about having a serious case of tendonitis. (Did you know that both tendinitis and tendonitis are acceptable spellings?! I thought I was crazy!) I had my first (horrific) flare up in October (Of course when Mr. Miller was gone overnight at a wedding out of town). I couldn't do anything without pain. I rested it, then eased back into activity. Flare up again. This song and dance continued for several months. I got a brace which helped, but any additional activity coupled with picking up/holding a constantly growing boy meant the flare ups never stopped. I finally went to a specialist and got a a cortisone shot. For anyone who gets a cortisone shot, be warned: You will be in pain, maybe even worse pain, for two days after the shot. I got so upset thinking "Now it's even worse!" but my awesome landlord, friend, dentist and fellow runner assured me that the third day would be great. And it has been! It's still a TEENSY bit sensitive since it bruised a little from the shot, but I'm excited to ease (SOOOOOO slowly) back into workouts using my arms! If I experience another 

Fitness update: I have been running semi consistently! We even ran into our favorite fellow Astoria Steph! With "better" weather we have been getting out more. Henry is awake for longer stretches now, so I have no issue lacing up and heading out! And when we're not running, we're walking. EVERYWHERE. I have been obsessed with walking places. If I'm meeting a friend, I choose a place far away to up my mileage! We go to the playground that is further away to get more activity in. I'm feeling more energized and willing to put in some sweat time. Although it has been a difficult couple of weeks with teething, I find being outside is helpful. On days when I am DRAGGING, I choose to walk instead. 

Race update: I have decided not to sign up for a race until the fall. I'm still finding my stride and a training plan simply seems like "work" to me still. I am eyeing some half marathons in the fall. There are too many good ones to choose from! Currently at the top of the list:
1. Grete's Gallop Half: The charity I partner with (Team World Vision) is running this race
2. Brooklyn Half: First ever Rock and Roll BK Half! Exciting! All the cool kids are doing it!
3. Hamptons Half: I ran this a long time ago, very sick, and barely enjoyed the gorgeous scenery. 

How about you? What's your latest greatest? Are you signed up for a fall half? Have you ever gotten a cortisone shot? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Henry: 11 Months

Our baby is almost one. It's almost been one year since I stopped working, one year since I had a beautifully relaxing week at home, one year since Henry made his (slightly dramatic) entrance into the world. I look at him and think "HOW?!" How has it been this long? How did we make it?! How fast will the next year go? If the past 11 months are any indication, it will go by in the blink of an eye. Here are some great things that happened this month:

  • Henry weighs a lot. We'll find out in June since he doesn't have an appointment until then!
  • He is cutting his fifth tooth. Eek. He skipped his two front teeth (Which are making their appearance), but the ones next to them poked through. He looks like a vampire. Mr. Miller calls him Wolfie. 
  • We went to the zoo for the first time and it was AWESOME! He loved the penguins and puffins.
  • He is crawling. Sometimes it's a slither, sometimes it's on all fours. During our trip to Florida he nailed it because our friend had carpeted floors. 
  • Speaking of Florida, he went to Disney for the first time! He was a trooper and got to go on rides like Pirates of the Caribbean and It's a Small World After All.
  • Food is still a daily guessing game. I have started lessening his pureed intake (unless we're out, then he eats that because I can't sit for 30 minutes with him playing/eating the food!). He's consistently eating a cinnamon raisin English muffin for breakfast, lunch meat for lunch and dinner with varied grains. Vegetables and fruits are still a struggle, but we're working on it!
  • Henry still doesn't have "stranger danger". He doesn't get scared when people approach him, hold him, or if I leave him with someone (example: church nursery). He's such an easy going kid, he rolls with situations. I should be more like him!!!
  • He is talking up a storm...but his words still haven't been firmly established. We've caught some dadas (Including last night at dinner with friends! More witnesses!), but he isn't assigning it with his actual dad. He communicates back with us, so it's only a matter of time before he starts connecting sounds/words/subjects! (Hello teacher)
  • Henry finds things funny. It's the best. He'll laugh at things that amuse him, like when I simply open my mouth. Apparently looking inside is hilarious! 

We are currently planning his first birthday party. It isn't going to be a Pinterest extravaganza, but it will be really fun. The next phase of talking, walking and growing is truly exciting. We are enjoying these moments where he still snuggles, gives kisses and loves to interact.

Happy 11 Months Little Lion Man!
This month's picture taking was a hot mess #teething. Top left was our first attempt, which prompted us to wait until after nap time! ;-)

Friday, May 1, 2015

Friday Frames

This post is sponsored by Minted*.

I am not a home decor guru. Seriously. Give me a paper to write, a topic to research, or a skincare concern, and I'm your girl! We finally changed our apartment around two years ago with fresh paint, a new couch, new chairs etc. We had some really great prints that were hanging a closet. I'm not a feng shui expert, but I would like balance in our wall art. We finally put them up, but they were uneven:

My pano skills are a bit sub par, but look! There needs to be a black and white end frame!!! 

Insert: Minted. I want a unique print on the end, and I'm currently deciding between an art print or a photo print....and Minted is making the choice difficult! I found so many great options in both departments, and all can be customized by size and frame color. Here are a few of my choices:

Option 1: I love this print! They have other states too! We would take black and whites around the city.

Option 2: I really LOVE this one, but if we have another baby I would have to chance adding the name myself. I'm also not a calligraphy expert. 

Option 3: This print caught my eye, it is absolutely beautiful!

But wait, there's more!!! OF COURSE I got lost in their stationary section, because HELLO Henry is turning one soon! (Sobbing in the corner now...) They have so many gorgeous options for kids ANYTHING: birthdays, baby showers, birth announcement, religious celebrations, everything. They recently updated their save the date section, and they are GORGEOUS. I'm obsessed with the foil pressed save the dates, they're unique, elegant and provide great options whether you want to use a picture of yourself or not. You can customize any design you see, which is a card buyer's dream come true!!! Be sure to check it out, especially if you're getting ready for the big walk with someone special. 

How about you? Which picture do you think I should get, option 1, 2, or 3? Are you in the market for new wall art? Where do you usually get your stationary? TELL ME ABOUT IT! 

*Disclaimer: I was compensated for my opinion with a credit to Minted. However, all opinions are my own, and I really do need a black and white framed something in my living area!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

It's Almost May

It's almost the last month that my baby will be "months". I know a lot of people (mainly those without children) hate when parents say "They're 15 months" etc. I'm most likely going to stick with 1, almost 1 1/2 etc because, quit frankly, I can't keep track of the weeks/months! FYI for those who do wonder why parents do that, it's because each month, heck even week, brings new development for kids, so saying 15 months means specific things!

Maybe this gorgeous weather will stick around? MAYBE?

I'm considering ways to change things up. I'm still stuck weight wise (Are you sick of hearing me talk about that yet?!), but I am. I looked into Whole 30 and decided that it was extremely close to my previous elimination diet, and I'm simply not putting those restrictions on myself again. What I am considering is committing to a style of eating, strategies to help me move more, and really buckling down the last month before my guy turns one. So, here are my thoughts so far:

- Limit my wine. Oh dear God I can't believe I wrote that WAHHH. But honestly, there seems to be a lot of opportunities lately to indulge, and when I think about it, it's often not worth it. I'm deciding between doing a month long fast or a weekday fast. I'm leaning toward the weekday ;-)
- High protein/vegetable low carb. I love carbs, and carbs love me. However, I know that loading on protein and veggies are a better option. We've been using the grill but doing things like burgers which pack on the bread. I'm hoping to focus on more lean proteins.
- Work in little exercises throughout my day. I find myself sitting at a computer most nap times, which is business focused. I can't avoid that. I need to get things done while my guy rests. However, I can maximize my time with ten minutes here, ten minutes there of movement.
- Create a running plan. I WANT to run. Instead of doing it when it seems optimal, I'm going to nail down a plan and try to stick with it. Not a pressured plan, but something that I can check off to keep me motivated.

How about you? Do you go through phases where you need to do things completely differently? Have you been basking in the outdoors lately? What is your favorite thing to grill? TELL ME ABOUT IT!